Retrospective study of the incidence and outcomes from lung cancer in solid organ transplant recipients

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer. 2020 Jul 26;147:214-220. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2020.07.020. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Organ transplant recipients (OTR) have an increased risk of developing post-transplant malignancies with lung cancer being one of the most common. In this retrospective study, we investigated incidence, use of systemic therapy and outcomes from lung cancer in OTR.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients diagnosed with lung cancer following a solid organ transplant at the University Health Network, Toronto, ON, CA, from January 1, 1980 to June 30, 2016 were included. Data for the study population, patient characteristics, treatments and outcomes were abstracted from solid OTR databases, our cancer registry and patient charts. Univariate Kaplan-Meier curves estimated median overall survival (OS) by histology, stage and systemic therapy.

RESULTS: Amongst 7944 OTR (heart [N = 765], lung [n = 1668], liver [n = 2238], kidney [n = 3273]), 101 (1.3 %) developed lung cancer which were included in our analyses. Of these, 81 % were non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), 11 % small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and 8% neuroendocrine tumor (NET). Median OS (months) was 25 in those that presented with Stage I/II NSCLC (44 %); 25 for Stage III NSCLC (7%); 3 for Stage IV NCLC (31 %); 10 for Limited stage SCLC (6%); 2 for Extensive stage (ES) SCLC (5%). NSCLC patients that received palliative chemotherapy had an OS of 8 months; ES-SCLC patients that received chemotherapy had an OS of 6 months. Of all patients who received platinum doublets (n = 16), 10 (62.5 %) required dose reductions at some point. Five patients experienced febrile neutropenia (31 %); two (12 %) had other toxicities leading to discontinuation.

CONCLUSION: Patients with stage I/II NSCLC and NET had poorer survival compared to historical norms in non-transplant patients. Patients who had stage III NSCLC or received palliative systemic therapy had survivals at or slightly below historic norms, although numbers were small. Chemotherapy can be administered in selected OTR patients though dose reductions and febrile neutropenia were common.